Norway: Swimming with Orcas under the Aurora 

LOCATION: Norway
TRIP LEADER: Karim Iliya
DIFFICULTY: Moderate
GROUP SIZE: 10 people
DATES: Jan 24 - Feb 2, 2019
PRICE: $4,100 USD

 
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TRIP DETAILS

Each winter, thousands of whales migrate from the warm waters of the mid-atlantic to the nutrient-rich waters of the Arctic to feed on millions of herring. Lying north of the Arctic Circle, Norway's Lofoten Islands become the winter feeding grounds of hungry orcas and humpbacks. This trip bring participants to this Arctic paradise to not only witness the fabled herring run first hand, but get into the water with the orcas and humpbacks to observe their feeding and interact with them. 

We begin our trip in Andenes, a small town in the north of the Lofoten Islands, and a hopper flight away from Tromsø. Andenes lies at the heart of the annual herring run, which takes place for two months a year from January through February, and is our home base throughout the trip. Given that it is wintertime in the Arctic, there is no more than six hours of daylight per day, and we use all of that time out on the water. We have our own zodiac boat, which we use from around 10am to 3pm for six of our days in the Lofotens in order to scope out the best feeding grounds and locate the orcas and humpbacks. Both animals have different tactics for feeding-- the orcas team up in groups to chase the herring into fish balls and pick them off from the sides, while the humpbacks dive below the herring schools and blow bubbles to corral them before swooping up from the depths with their mouths open.

In the evenings, we can chase the aurora over the islands, as the Lofotens have become a photographer's paradise throughout the winter season. We spend two of our days on land exploring the islands, travelling south by car to the tiny fishing village of Å. Small Norwegian fishing communities dominate the island landscape, along with dramatic rock cliffs and expansive ocean views. 

This trip is a spectacular, up-close-and-personal experience with some of the world's largest and most intelligent and agile ocean creatures. The experience is like no other. 

 
 
 

TRIP LEADERS

 
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KARIM ILIYA
Karim Iliya on Instagram

Pursuing a variety of types of photography, Karim lives a nomadic lifestyle and travels the globe with a focus on photographing and filming wildlife and marine environments using free diving, underwater cameras, and quadcopter drones. Karim’s passion is in documenting threatened animals in an effort to create appreciation in order to help protect our delicate ecosystems. He has dedicated his life to the protection, preservation and documentation of marine species, specifically whales. His work has been featured in publications all over the world, including National Geographic, among others. 

 
 
 
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MATT REICHEL 
Matt Reichel on Instagram

Matt is a producer, documentarian, and photographer from Vancouver, and a co-founding member of Inertia Network. Before entering the world of media, he developed several not-for-profit and digital marketing ventures in China, Canada and Korea. Matt then went on to work on media projects from the high Arctic to the jungles of Central Africa to the hockey rink in Pyongyang, North Korea, documenting people, culture, wildlife, and events. He spent September 2017 in Tonga with Karim documenting whales and is excited to lead our upcoming whale programs in French Polynesia in 2018. 

 
 

DATES AND COSTS

 
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JAN 24 - FEB 2, 2019

(10 spaces open)
Starting and ending in: Andenes, Lofoten Islands, Norway
Activities: 6 days on the water, 2 days land excursion
Cost: $4,100 per person ($390 for single supplement)

 
 

 
 

INCLUDED

  • Private accommodation with kitchen
  • Private boat fees and day excursions
  • Whale guides and trip leaders
  • Gear: dry suit, mask, snorkel, and fins
  • Airport transfers at Andenes
  • Local transportation
  • Breakfasts and lunches

NOT INCLUDED

  • Camera equipment
  • Travel/medical insurance
  • Dinners
  • Personal spending
  • International airfare to and from Andenes, Norway
 
 

HOW TO JOIN

 
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